Monday, September 10, 2007

Scottish smoking ban has improved public health.

There has been a significant improvement in public health according to the most recent research carried out in Scotland.

Comparisons of heart attack rates at nine hospitals showed a 17% drop in the number of heart attack victims since March 2006 when the smoking in public places ban was implemented.

The research also suggest that the air quality found in pubs is now as good as that outside.

The report also states there has been a reduction of 40% in the number of adults exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke)

The main findings of the study were;

The ban has reduced second hand smoke exposure in both children and adults.

Among primary school children, levels of a by-product of nicotine fell by more than a third (39%) following the ban.

In adults, cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) levels fell by almost half (49%) in non-smokers from non-smoking households.

Non-smokers living in smoking households continued to have high levels of second hand smoke exposure in the home.

And the authors suggest that further action is urgently required to support smoking households to implement smoke-free homes and cars.

The scientific research is based on routine health data, as well as research projects undertaken by government scientists and Scottish universities into the effects of the smoking ban.

The Scottish deputy chief medical officer, Professor Peter Donnelly, said the results were proof that the ban had produced major health gains.

Professor Jill Pell, who headed the research team which made the findings, said: "The primary aim of smoking bans is to protect non-smokers from the effects of passive smoking.

But Scottish publicans claim that many of the benefits could have been achieved without a ban and complain that bar sales have declined because of it.

Jill Pell said; "Previous studies have not been able to confirm whether or not that has been achieved. What we were able to show is that among people who are non-smokers there was a 20% reduction in heart attack admissions. This [research] confirms that the legislation has been effective in helping non-smokers."

After the Scotland banned smoking in enclosed public spaces, Wales and Northern Ireland followed suit in April 2007 and England did the same in July 2007.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Chantix Side Effects website launched

A new website has launched to explain the side effects that are associated with using chantix (varenicline). The website can be found at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ed Byrn on occasional smokers

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dave Allen on smoking - priceless!

This item is absolutely hilarious. I grew up watching Dave Allen on TV and he was brilliant then as he is now. A bit of foul language but bloody funny. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Best way to stop smoking - does one exist?

In short the answer to the question: "Is there a best way to stop smoking" is yes. There is a best way to stop smoking for everyone but the method that may work for you may not work for others. What you need to do is find out which way is best for you.

There are several methods you can employ to stop smoking. The main ones are behavioural therapy, hypnosis, drugs, nicotine replacement therapy, will power and 'alternative' methods. I will give a brief description of each approach along with its pros and cons.

Is cognitive behavioural therapy the best way top stop smoking?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most successful methods to help smokers stop with success rates well above 50%. This is not the same as the standard literature you find all over the place. It is not the 'set a stop date', 'write out a stop plan', 'stay in and avoid alcohol' etc. etc. That doesn't work.

Cognitive behavioural therapy breaks smoking down into twenty or so component parts and changes the way you think about smoking, component by component. The end result is that all the reasons you think you smoke for are destroyed and you lose the will to smoke.

It is not a magic bullet. It is just one particularly effective approach to stopping smoking that uses no drugs whatsoever and leaves smokers feeling liberated the moment they stop smoking, rather than being fraught with anxiety. It is cheap when compared to other systems (less than $50) and is normally sold with a no quibble money back guarantee.

Is hypnosis the best way to stop smoking?
Studies suggest that hypnosis is successful to the tune of 30% of smokers in single sessions. Using multiple sessions, success rates of 60% plus have been reported. There is some evidence that women struggle to stop as readily as men using hypnosis.

It works by changing a person's mental attitude toward smoking using powerful visualisation techniques. Hypnosis is similar to neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. Both use similar relaxation and meditation techniques to overcome cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It is far from suitable for everyone but it is non-chemical and there are no drugs to use.

Hypnosis products can be bought over the internet for around $50 but one to one sessions with hypnotherapists can be considerably more expensive, to the tune of several hundred dollars.

Are drug therapies the best way to stop smoking?
The pharmaceutical industry seems to think so! Zyban is found to work in about 16% of smokers and Chantix has been found to be about 22% effective. It is not 44% effective as claimed by Pfizer, its manufacturer.

Drug therapies are almost always used alongside counselling to help smokers achieve their aims of becoming non-smokers. Drug therapies can be provided by health authorities or may be included within medical insurance. They generally cost in excess of $300 to complete the courses if bought privately.

The downside to drug therapies aside from cost is that you may suffer from side effects which can be serious enough to stop you using the drug.

Another downside is that you do not get a money back guarantee with them, unlike my own book (which uses cognitive behavioural therapy) and most hypnosis products available on the internet.

Is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) the best way to stop smoking?
Studies show that NRT can increase you chances of stopping smoking when compared to people trying to stop cold turkey taking it from around 5% to around 10%. It comes in the form of 'transdermal' patches, which deliver nicotine through the skin into the bloodstream. It also comes as gum or pills (lozenges and microtabs) or plastic cigarettes or nasal sprays.

Nicotine replacement therapies work on the assumption that smoking consists of nicotine 'addiction' and the 'habit' of smoking. Smokers are expected to overcome the 'habit' whilst still getting their nicotine hit from the NRT product and then they are expected to reduce their nicotine intake until they are free from cigarettes and nicotine all together.

The downside of NRT is its expense in relation to the success rate it achieves. It is just as expensive as smoking and can leave people still needing the nicotine in the form of gum or lozenges for many months or even years after stopping smoking. NRT is often used in conjunction with Zyban to enhance both NRT and Zyban effectiveness. This makes it twice as expensive of course!

Is willpower the best way to stop smoking?
Will power has a very low success rate and smokers generally need to make several attempts over several years before they successfully stop smoking. The benefits of the willpower method are that the long terms success rate is very high. Chantix, Zyban and NRT approaches to stopping smoking can be more effective in the short term, but in the longer term, willpower quitters stay off the smokes for good.

The financial benefit of this method is very good of course because it doesn't cost a penny! This is however a false economy because it takes so long to successfully stop, there are a lot of packs of cigarettes bought between attempts and the final, and successful quit.

Are alternative methods the best way to stop smoking?
Alternative methods include herbal remedies, acupuncture and laser treatments amongst many others. Anecdotally, these methods have been found to be successful but the scientific evidence is not available. TV programs showing how 'successful' each of these treatments can be rely on interviewing one or two individuals - hence the anecdotal support.

These methods are frequently expensive and rarely come with a money back guarantee. They are virtually all supported by counselling in the form of book, audio tapes or one to one sessions.

So what is the best way to stop smoking?
My advice is to start by accepting there is going to be a cost to stopping smoking. There is going to be a higher cost to continue smoking, not only in terms of cash, but most significantly in terms of health.

If you want to stop smoking be prepared to accept that you may need to try several methods before you find your very own best way to stop smoking. The one that works for you will not be 50% or 30% or 22% effective - the one that works for you will be 100% effective and that is what really matters.

Start by considering products that come with money back guarantees so you can try it and if you fail, you can get your money back. Then move onto the next system until you come to those solutions that do not have money back guarantees.

As ever, my advice to any smoker trying to stop is to never stop trying to stop. Fall down seven times, get up eight!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The truth about drug company sponsored drug trials

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I have little or no time for drugs to help smokers quit smoking. I believe smoking can be successfully overcome without drugs whatsoever, either by hypnosis or by using my own EasyQuit System book, available at

I found the following BBC Panorama investigation on the BBC's website. You will need Windows Media Player to view this:

Secrets of the Drug Trials

Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Zyban and Varenicline have all got flawed efficacy studies in my opinion. Think carefully before turning to these solutions.

As ever, never stop trying to quit smoking.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Resolve to give up smoking

It is important that smokers genuinely 'resolve to give up smoking' when they 'decide' to give up. Resolving to give up smoking properly makes a significant difference in your chances of success. By making a 'proper' decision, you increase your chances of success in overcoming the evil weed several fold.

So what do I mean by 'making a proper decision'? Well, most smokers when they decide to give up smoking don't really resolve to give up smoking; they merely decide to hope to be able to give up smoking. There are many reasons for this but the most significant one I think is the emotional attachment to smoking.

Smokers think that they enjoy smoking despite the fact that to smoke, one must inhale hot toxic gas and particulates in order to enjoy it. Because smokers are so attached to smoking as an enjoyable pass time, it is difficult to resolve to give up smoking without seeing giving up smoking as a test of will or abstinence, resulting in anxiety about giving up.

This anxiety manifests itself in the smokers mind by making them nervous at the thought of spending the rest of their lives without their beloved cigarettes. After all, the average smoker hasn't enjoyed a cup of coffee, meal or alcoholic drink in the last few years without a trusty cigarette within arms reach.

If you decide to give up smoking you must resolve to give up smoking and not merely decide to 'give it another go'. And it probably will be just another go - research suggests that most smokers take 7 attempts over several years to kick the habit!

So how can you go about resolving to give up smoking? Well, firstly you must accept the rest of your life must be without cigarettes. This is an horrific proposition for most smokers because they enjoy smoking so much. But consider these facts;

Fact #1: We were all born as non-smokers. It was only after starting smoking that we became smokers and we didn't even chose to do that, we only chose to give smoking a try. (That is another story I cover in my book!)

Fact #2: 25% of the population of the United States have never smoked a cigarette and they seem to get on with life okay. These people have resolved never to smoke and they don't miss it one iota!

Fact #3: 25% of the population have tried smoking and just couldn't get into it - they don't smoke and they seem to manage just fine too.

Fact #4: 25% of the population used to smoke at one time or another for varying periods of time but they have now given up. They don't smoke and seem to get on with life fine too.

Finally, there is the 25% of people who currently smoke and who have not managed to resolve to give up smoking. Researching how to give up smoking is a good start and the first step on a journey to a smoke free life so by reading this article you are already headed in the right direction!

At least 75% of the population can and do live happily without cigarettes. What makes you so special? Go on, don't just decide to try and give up, resolve to give up smoking.

To finish, here is a quote from Marlene von Savant: "Being defeated is a temporary condition. Giving up makes it permanent." As ever, never give up trying to give up smoking.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Give Up Smoking Benefits: 10 more reasons to give up smoking

There are many benefits to giving up smoking. Most of the benefits are reductions in the risk of developing some disease or other. These benefits are the reason why you should give up smoking. They wont in themselves help you give up smoking but they will provide you with motivation to go on and learn how to give up smoking successfully.

Give up smoking benefit #1: When you smoke, the cocktail of hot gases and chemicals found in cigarette smoke damages your body. There are 4,000 of them in all! As a result, if you fall ill, you take longer to recover and/or heal. Giving up smoking will significantly improve your ability to fight disease.

Give up smoking benefit #2: Smoking causes damage to your mouth and gums. Smokers are more likely to suffer from 'acute necrotising and ulcerative gingivitis' (diseased gums) which increases the risk of tooth loss and gives you bad breath amongst other things. Urgh!

Give up smoking benefit #3: Smokers are 20 times more likely to suffer from angina than non-smokers.

Give up smoking benefit #4: Want to keep your eyesight? Smokers run twice the risk of developing cataracts when compared to non-smokers. Smokers are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and therefore diabetic retinopathy - the degeneration of the retina, leading to blindness. They are also twice as likely to suffer from macular degeneration of the eyes and amblyopia (loss of sight).

Give up smoking benefit #5: Hey stud! Men who smoke increase the risk suffering from erectile dysfunction, reduced ejaculate volume, reduced sperm counts and deformed, damaged or dead sperm. Basically, smoking is a good way to increase your chances of being impotent! Reduce your risks by giving up smoking as soon as possible.

Give up smoking benefit #6: Hey good looking! Smokers run twice the risk of suffering from psoriasis and skin wrinkling. Free radicals found in cigarette smoke damage skin tissues and reduce their elasticity more rapidly than non-smokers. This is why long-term smokers tend to look older and have a poorer complexion than non-smokers.

Give up smoking benefit #7: Cancer anyone? Smokers run an elevated risk of developing lung cancer. They also have a disproportionately high risk of developing throat, oesophageal, bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreatic, mouth and tongue and lip cancers!

Give up smoking benefit #8: 45% of all duodenum or stomach ulcers are found in smokers. Nicotine interacts with the parasympathetic nervous system (the automatic bit) and relaxes the stomach sphincters, allowing stomach acid excess into the oesophagus (heartburn) and the duodenum.

Give up smoking benefit #9: An aortic aneurism is the ballooning of the aorta which can result in it rupturing which leads to massive internal bleeding and quick, certain death. Smokers suffer 57% of all aortic aneurisms.

Give up smoking benefit #10: Stick around! Did you know that people who smoke between 1 and 14 cigarettes per day are 8 times more likely to die early when compared to non-smokers.. Smokers on 15 to 25 cigarettes per day are 13 times more likely to die early compared to non-smokers. Smokers who smoke over 25 cigarettes per day are 25 times more likely to die early!

Finally, there is a Japanese proverb that says "fall down seven times, get up eight". Giving up smoking is just like that too. You have to keep trying to give up. My advice as ever is never give up trying to give up.

How to stop smoking cigarettes

The simplest way to answer the question of how to stop smoking cigarettes is to say, just don't smoke anymore! That is a bit of a fickle response though because if it were that easy, no one would bother to ask how to stop smoking cigarettes would they?

The reason why cigarettes are so hard to stop smoking is because of nicotine addiction. Many smokers and healthcare professionals believe that smoking is a 'habit'. I can assure you and them that this is not the case. Biting your fingernails is a habit, smoking tobacco is the manifestation of an addiction to nicotine.

One of the common answers as to how to stop smoking cigarettes is to turn to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum. This in my opinion is possibly the stupidest course of action to take. The reason I think this is because of what I have already said about addiction and habit. I also think it is stupid because any drug addiction treated with more of the same drug just seems silly.

When you are told how to stop smoking cigarettes using NRT, you are basically told you have to overcome the habit of smoking and then you have to overcome the addiction to nicotine. Stop smoking then stop using the patches.

What I can tell you is that there is no need to use the patches to try and overcome the 'habit'. There is no habit in smoking. It is all the result of addiction. The only reason you keep smoking is because you are addicted to nicotine. It has nothing to do with you needing to put a cigarette in your mouth. Children need soothers but adults do not!

Another common response smokers are given when they ask how to stop smoking cigarettes is to turn to a 'wonder' drug such as zyban or chantix.

Zyban and Chantix have respectively 16% and 22% success rates. (Chantix does not have the 44% Pfizer like to suggest it has by the way.) The problem with both Zyban and Chantix is that they break the physical addiction to smoking. They stop nicotine working somehow (and by the way, the doctors don't know how!) but they don't change your emotional attachment to smoking.

Without dealing with both your physical and mental addiction to nicotine, you are highly likely to fall back into smoking once your prescriptions for zyban or chantix run out.

The other problems with these drugs are the side effects. There is the nausea, the chances of seizure and a whole host of others. I cover those in more detail in other articles on my blog.

So what is the answer as to how to stop smoking cigarettes? Well, in my humble opinion, it is achieved through adjusting your mental attitude towards smoking. It is achieved through understanding your enemy. In short, understand nicotine and how it has changed the way your body operates. One way this can be achieved easily and quickly with an open mind and a fresh look at smoking through an approach known as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy works by looking at smoking in a different way. The relationship you have with cigarettes is often based on a series of misconceptions. It breaks your relationship with tobacco down into bite-sized chunks and deals with each misconception individually. It may seem hard to believe but just because you think you have a handle on smoking, doesn't necessarily mean you actually have!

People who use cognitive behavioural therapy to stop smoking often report 'seeing the light' or having an 'epiphany' about smoking when they complete the course. More often than not, they know they will never start smoking again after they have given up because the whole smoking relationship has been blown to pieces.

Finally, there are many ways to stop smoking and it is important that you find the one that works for you, so as ever, my most important piece of advice to any would-be quitter is, never stop trying to stop smoking.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The best give up smoking tip ever!

When I was a smoker, I was determined to find that one best give up smoking tip. I always thought that there was one that I could rely on and use to make me give up smoking. You see, smoking is incredibly difficult to give up until you have found your own solution, i.e. the best give up smoking tip ever for you. When you have found that, it becomes easy to give up smoking.

So what is the best give up smoking tip ever then I hear you say. Well, the bad news for you is that I don't know. It's not that I don't know a whole heap of give up smoking tips, it's just that I don't know which is the best give up smoking tip for you personally.

Let me clarify. When I gave up smoking, one thing that really changed things for me was the realisation that I could actually enjoy life without cigarettes. For me that was the best give up smoking tip ever, but it wasn't the only one and on its own it wasn't that powerful. There were a whole raft of things I had to understand before I could happily give up the smokes. Now this is a strange analogy but stick with me. It is a bit like the Whitehouse, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

The Whitehouse is a magnificent building, but it is a magnificent building because it appears to be greater than the sum of its parts. Its parts add up to 'x' but the whole thing put together is worth 'x' plus a whole lot more.

The Whitehouse wouldn't look very good with just the huge entrance and no building. The building itself wouldn't look very impressive without that portico. The lamp under the portico wouldn't look good without the portico and the portico wouldn't look as good without the lamp. The gardens wouldn't be set off as well as they are without the house and the house wouldn't look as magnificent if it didn't have the gardens.

Do you see what I mean? One thing in itself may not be that impressive but when contrasted or complimented with something else or a number of other things, it becomes greater than it really is. It is always possible for something to be greater than the sum of its parts.

There are lists and lists of give up smoking tips available. I have two articles that I did just recently available at the following locations:
Quit Smoking Tips - 10 of the best and Quit smoking Tips - 10 more pearls of wisdom!

You can read them and others all over the internet, but they tend to follow different ideas about smoking and how you can overcome its grip on your life. If you read give up smoking tips all day long you could easily get no nearer finding a simple way to give up smoking without the anguish and stress and normal need for willpower.

So if you are really keen to give up smoking, I suppose the best give up smoking tip I can tell you is this. You are killing yourself. You know that but it doesn't make it any easier to give up smoking. You need to find a solution, so keep looking. They do exist but it may be different for you than it was for me. Lots of people succeed with cognitive behavioural therapy, others with hypnotherapy and others with drugs, although I take a pretty dim view on drugs to help you give up! See this article:

For me, it was cognitive behavioural therapy. That sounds serious and scary but it's not. It is a set of instructions to change the way you think about your relationship with cigarettes. Once I understood why I smoked, it was really easy for me to give up. As they say in the military, "know your enemy!"

My final piece of advice that I suppose is the other 'best give up smoking tip' that I can think of is always, never give up trying to give up smoking.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Varenicline: A Cure for Smoking -Or a Smokescreen?

I read this article and I tend to agree with the author. Aside from my opinions on nicotine replacement therapy (read this post), I am not a fan of the miracle pills we hear about. Why? Well, smoking is not only about your physical nicotine addiction, it is also about your psychological 'addiction' to smoking. I say 'addiction' because it is more to do with a warped sense of stimuli and response than addiction! If you want to know more, buy my book!

OK, here's the article:

One of the holy grails of the pharmaceutical industry is to design a drug that would cure or, otherwise significantly reduce nicotine cravings i.e. cure smoking. There are 48 million smokers in the U.S. and 45 million of them would, surely, give anything to quit. So, to conquer that market would mean immeasurable wealth to the victor. With this in mind, there is a potential blockbuster drug currently making its way through the regulatory hurdles that shows promise: Varenicline.

There are as many treatments for smoking as there are brands of cigarettes. These include patches, gums, lozenges, hypnosis, acupuncture and even an anti-depressant, Zyban. Zyban wasn't originally developed as a smoking cessation drug but as a treatment for depression. A side effect was observed- people on this drug smoked less. It has been moderately successful.

Most over-the-counter treatments involve the slow weaning of the patient from nicotine, while this new drug, Varenicline, attempts to block the receptors in the brain that trigger the cravings in the first place. A novel solution, it seems, to a perplexing problem.

As a smoker and having tried everything, I am currently most satisfied with my Commit lozenges. Ultimately though, these lozenges merely replace smoking as my preferred method of ingesting nicotine - something my lungs, but not my pocketbook are quite appreciative of. Now, I would have no problem continuing with these lozenges, but they are quite expensive and do nothing to end my addiction. I was hoping that this new drug, Varenicline, would allow me to kick the habit for good.

Well, the study results are in and here they are:

22% -- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given Varenicline
16% -- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given Zyban
8% --- smoking abstinence rate after 1 year of patients given a placebo

Hardly earth shattering numbers was my initial response. There barely seems a difference between Zyban and Varenicline – 1 out of 6 quitting for Zyban vs. 1 out of 5 for Varenicline. It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but it does initially appear, that we might have to wait awhile longer for the elusive smoking cure to be as simple as swallowing a pill.

Meanwhile, it’s off to the drugstore I go, for some more Commit.

Hopefully, it’s on sale.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Quit smoking motivators: Negative motivation

I know that this is a bit of a negative motivation for some quit smoking tips but it is always important to have motivation. Whether that motivation be positive, such as "I want to see my kids grow up" or "I want to be healthy to enjoy my retirement", or negative, you need motivation.

Here is a list of quit smoking tips that use the negative motivators of smoking to keep your motivation high.

Quit smoking motivator #1: Did you know that half of all smokers will die young as a result of smoking. That means that half won't too!

Quit smoking motivator #2: Did you know that on average, smokers die 8 years younger than non-smokers. If you are one of the unlucky ones, you are statistically likely to die 16 years early. Think about that compared to your current age!

Quit smoking motivator #3: 90% of all lung cancer is found in smokers and former smokers. A large majority of the lung cancer found in non-smokers is thought to be from passive smoking. The 5-year life expectancy for all lung cancer is about 6%.

Quit smoking motivator #4: People who smoke up to 14 cigarettes a day have an 8-fold increase in the risk of lung cancer than non-smokers.

Quit smoking motivator #5: Smoking affects fertility in both men and women, causing abnormal sperm development in men and reducing ejaculate volume. In women, smoking is known to bring the onset of menopause forward by 2 years on average.

Quit smoking motivator #6: Smokers under the age of 40 are five times more likely to be struck down by heart attack than non-smokers.

Quit smoking motivator #7: 80% of all Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which includes bronchitis (the chronic swelling and irritation of the lungs) and Emphysema (the loss of lung tissue elasticity), is found in smokers.

Quit smoking motivator #8: Emphysema is like suffocating to death over a period of 1 to 5 years. It is a very unpleasant way to die.

Quit smoking motivator #9: You are between 2 and 5 times more likely to contract bladder cancer as a smoker.

Quit smoking motivator #10: The next cigarette you smoke could be the one that starts the chain reaction leading to lung cancer.

On a brighter note, stopping smoking before the age of 30 negates about 90% of all the negative effects of smoking.

As ever, never stop trying to quit smoking!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quit smoking tips: 10 more pearls of wisdom!

When you decide to have another try at forgoing the evil weed, you can always benefit from some quit smoking tips. Wouldn't life be wonderful if you could quit smoking whenever you pleased? Well, unfortunately, life isn't that easy but in the mean time, here are some pearls of wisdom that may help you quit smoking.

Quit smoking tip #1: Write a list of all the reason why you want to smoke. It will be short. Write a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. It will be long. Keep both lists with you all times.

Quit smoking tip #2: For every reason you think of you want to quit, write it on a piece of paper about 3 inches long (the length of a cigarette). Roll it up and put it in an empty packet of the cigarettes you like to smoke. You should be able to get about 15 in the packet easily. Every time you want a cigarette, read a reason instead.

Quit smoking tip #3: Talk yourself into believing the next cigarette you smoke will be the one that gives you lung cancer. It won't seem so attractive!

Quit smoking tip #4: Consider buying products to help you quit smoking. There are many on the market and if they come with a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose except the smokes!

Quit smoking tip #5: You will suffer from nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Don't let these symptoms cloud your judgement as to why you chose to quit smoking.

Quit smoking tip #6: Never use nicotine replacement therapy. There is no way that you can overcome the addiction to nicotine by getting it in another delivery system.

Quit smoking tip #7: Understand that you will not be able to quit until you actually genuinely want to quit. It is no good trying to quit smoking just because you know you 'should' quit because it is bad for you.

Quit smoking tip #8: Watch what you eat. You may start eating between meals when you used to smoke. You will get fat if you continue to do this. Drink plenty of fruit juice for the first three days and then plenty of water - stay off the sugary drinks thereafter.

Quit smoking tip #9: Don't think about smoking. If you thin you are missing out on something you will just be torturing yourself.

Quit smoking tip #10: Never doubt your reasons for quitting nor doubt your ability to quit.

There are a plethora of products available to help people quit smoking. Some commentators cynically suggest that they are all useless. I believe that there is no one 'fix-all' cure for smoking. Some people will benefit from drug programs such as Chantix or Zyban, others from cognitive behavioural therapy and others from hypnosis.

My argument is that people should try any and every method they can because the benefits of quitting smoking make it worthwhile. But whatever you do, never stop trying to quit.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Quit smoking tips: 10 of the best

It is difficult for people to quit smoking (or so we are told) and until you actually realise it can be easy you could benefit from some quit smoking tips. You will need help to keep you off the smokes as long as you have this negative attitude to quitting. The following is a list of widely accepted tricks to help you get through the process of quitting.

Quit smoking tip #1: Rid your entire life of cigarettes and all the paraphernalia of smoking such as lighters, matches, ashtrays etc. Never carry cigarettes with you.

Quit smoking tip #2: Accept that you are never going to have another cigarette as long as you live. Understand that the only reason you could possibly need any smoking paraphernalia is because you plan on smoking again.

Quit smoking tip #3: Don't kid yourself that you will let your friends smoke in your house. You must ban smoking from every aspect of your life. Your house, your car, your back yard.

Quit smoking tip #4: Never doubt your decision to quit smoking. It was the right decision.

Quit smoking tip #5: Every time you crave a cigarette, feel proud that you have gone this long without one and you can manage even longer.

Quit smoking tip #6: Drink plenty of water and drink plenty of citric fruit juices for the first couple of days. Stop drinking sugary drinks after day 3 or you will put on weight.

Quit smoking tip #7: If you are worried about getting fat, start using the stairs at work or whenever you can. If you have to go somewhere within a mile, walk instead of cycle or taking the car.

Quit smoking tip #8: Start eating healthy food. Stay off the pastries, sweets, potato chips and chocolates. Eat raw vegetables and plenty of fruit. Without smoking, these things start tasting even better than normal.

Quit smoking tip #9: Set aside a jar to put all your cigarette money in. You will be saving over $30 a week if you are a normal smoker. Use this money to spend on something extravagant for your self after the first week and then after the first month.

Quit smoking tip #10: Tell everyone you know that you are quitting smoking. Ask them for their encouragement - they will give it. Smokers and non-smokers and ex-smokers especially, will all be 100% behind you. No-one likes seeing friends or family killing themselves.

There are many support methods out there to help smokers quit. You can use nicotine replacement therapy (which I seriously don't recommend), zyban or chantix with 16% and 22% apparent success rates. There are also other methods that do not use drugs or pharmacological interventions such as hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy. These methods generally boast better long term results than drugs do.

My advice to anyone trying to quit smoking is to be prepared to try any and every method you can. Invest money (particularly if it comes with a money back guarantee) because it is money well spent. No-one can tell you which method will work best for you so you can only find out by trying all the methods.

As always, never stop trying to quit smoking.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How to easily quit smoking

There is a burning desire in all smokers to find out how to easily quit smoking. The reason for this is quite simple. Every time smokers try to quit smoking they find that is difficult and inevitably 19 out of 20 fail to kick the habit. However, it is true that you can easily quit smoking so let me explain.

Now this may sound a bit weird but my personal view on this is that quitting smoking is only difficult because smokers don't know how to easily quit smoking.

Let me clarify. Driving a car is difficult the first time you do it. That is because you do not know how to drive a car. Once you have spent some time learning 'how' to drive a car, it becomes easier. In fact, most people don't even think about how to drive a car and they do it every day. It becomes second nature.

Let's look at another example. Most people think that building and publishing a website is difficult. Before I started working full time on the internet I felt the same. Then, as time passed and I took time to learn how to write webpages, publish articles, write blogs and manage a website, I realised that it wasn't difficult. It was just that before, I didn't know how to do it and that made it seem difficult.

To this day I haven't the faintest idea how to weld, but I am certain I could learn!

And so it is with smoking. I know how to easily quit smoking because I learned how to and have done it. That doesn't mean I start and stop as I please. As a smoker, I spent 20 years of my life wanting to stop smoking. The problem was, I didn't know how to easily stop smoking and so every attempt over 20 years (and there must have been 20 or 30 attempts) ended in failure. That was until I discovered how to easily quit smoking. I don't want to be a smoker - that's why I found out how to quit.

Now obviously, I cannot write a 500 word article that is going to explain in full how to easily quit smoking. I explain how to easily quit smoking in my book but I want ot give you a few pointers here in this article.

The first and foremost issue that smokers absolutely must overcome in order to easily quit smoking is to change their outlook on cigarettes and how that fits in with the rest of their lives. What I mean by this is that most smokers subconsciously or not, believe that cigarettes form a part of their persona. A non-smoker picks up their keys and wallet when they leave the house. A smoker picks up their keys and wallet and cigarettes and lighter. It forms an integral part of their every day life.

Smokers will pretty much always know how many cigarettes they have on their person. They know this like they know how many fingers anyone knows they have on their left hand.

Smoking and cigarettes (or whatever your 'pleasure') are an integral part of a smokers life. They feel that cigarettes provide enjoyment and pleasure. They are difficult to live without because of the pleasure they bring. Right?


In order to even start on discovering how to easily quit smoking, smokers must learn to comprehend that they can spend the rest of their lives without cigarettes. It is not a matter of thinking I will quit smoking, then have a cigarette once a month because I enjoy them so much. A smoker who is trying to quit must understand that they can enjoy the rest of their lives without cigarettes. Let me explain why.

Roughly speaking 25% of the population smoke. Another 25% of the population used to smoke but have quit. Yet another 25% of the population tried to smoke at some point but couldn't so they didn't bother. Finally, 25% of the population have never had a cigarette or any tobacco smoke enter their lungs.

As a smoker you are only make up 1 in 4 of the population and the other three quarters seem to get on with their lives ok. They don't need cigarettes and if you are a smoker, you don't either. Once you understand this point, you have taken your first step on how to easily quit smoking.

I know that if you are looking to quit smoking you will be shown a vast array of products to choose from, including nicotine replacement therapy, chantix, zyban, herbal solutions, books and hypnosis. Whilst I believe in the cognitive behavioural approach as being the best way to quit smoking, it is not perfect for everyone. So I recommend that you try anything or everything you can to quit smoking. There will be at least one effective approach to quitting smoking that will work for you. I only wish I could tell you which!

Whatever you do, never quit trying to quit.

Why do people try to quit smoking before they know how to quit smoking? Pete Howells is the author of the EasyQuit System available only online at He also blogs, post articles and videos at and at

EasyQuit System - Is It Just Another Failure Attempt?

I found this article about my book on the internet the other day. What a pleasant suprise!

With all the quitting smoking system scams flooding in the internet and outside the internet, it can be difficult to find an easy and truly way to really stop smoking. And so when I came across this new e-book by Peter Howells, I wasn’t expecting anything truly as I have been tried, scammed and disappointed so many times before.

But the EasyQuit System seemed to be more down to earth than most. So I promptly picked up a copy and figured that if nothing else, it would be a decent e-book that would give me the opportunity to finally quit smoking.

But from the opening pages of the EasyQuit System, I must admit I was taken a bit off guard with the exceptional method and overall of the system. The method was very well organized, easy to embrace and I found Peter writing style refreshing in a comparison of other e-books or methods I was trying before.

Learn more about it here

The EasyQuit System starts with explaining why I become a smoker and how I can overcome this bad habit. This is followed by a series of powerful truths about the psychology of smoking that work surprisingly well. The intention is not to frighten you, but to emphasize truths about the psychology of smoking and how to deal with them.

Before I bought EasyQuit System I have never thought it can be easy to stop smoking, I knew it is possible, but certainly not easy. I simply didn’t know how. But Peter shows how even a heavy smoker like myself can easily quit smoking.

There is also very detailed information of how not becoming a smoker again and without any needs of using substitutes. Later on in the e-book you also discover a very surprising, and important fact about the nicotine. Never before have I seen, read or experienced quit smoking method that goes into the level of details that EasyQuit System does.

Learn more about it here

Everything is clearly explained and demonstrated with examples. You will feel like the e-book is written especially for your need, stop smoking easily. Peter shows exactly how to stop smoking and how to remain a non smoker without any side affects.

One thing that is missing in EasyQuit System is the frighten tactics, but from my own experience you will not quit smoking if someone frightening you or you will never be a happy non smoker. The techniques in EasyQuit System are much more effective.

The EasyQuit System is also provides a full 60 days money back guarantee if you purchased the e-book and you are not satisfied, meaning you are not a happy non smoker. Therefore there is no risk buying this e-book and trying the method.

A command problem with a lot of other quitting smoking systems is that after experienced the method you will generally found yourself left on your own to figure out things. But this is certainly not the case with EasyQuit System. Peter offers exceptional e-mail support and for the few times I have had question he was responded very quickly.

Overall the EasyQuit System is exceptional method that has taught me how to quit smoking easily and becoming a happy non smoker.

Learn more about it here

Yours, Shuri
This article is free for republishing

Thursday, July 26, 2007

10 quit smoking symptoms explained

There are many different quit smoking symptoms that appear in smokers who are trying to quit. The range of symptoms is quite wide but luckily, most smokers will not suffer all of the symptoms, only one or two. Nevertheless, some of the symptoms can be quite uncomfortable and can motivate smokers to start up and abandon quitting.

In alphabetical order, the most common quit smoking symptoms are:

Quit smoking symptom #1: Anger: When you quit smoking, your brain chemistry isn't able to work normally because you haven't any nicotine in your system. As a result, smokers who have been off the smokes for a day or too can get a bit cranky. They tend to be pretty unpleasant company and are liable to fly off the handle pretty easily.

Quit smoking symptom #2: Bad Breath or halitosis: This is one of the more anti-social of quit smoking symptoms. Many people recommend chewing gum as this not only gives your mouth something to do but also covers up the bad odour. What most smokers don't realise is that they had bad breath anyway. It is only because they quit smoking that they actually came to notice it!

Quit smoking symptom #3: Constipation: It is not known specifically why, but many smokers complain of constipation when they quit smoking. The intestinal tract tends to slow down but it is normally only temporary. The only recommended remedies are to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of high fibre foods such as wholemeal and fruits.

Quit smoking symptom #4: Cough: When you quit smoking, the lungs finally get a moment to start cleaning themselves the way they are supposed to. This process doesn't work normally when smoking every hour or so. The body is simply expelling the mucus that has accumulated over the years. This wet cough should only last a week or two and it is your body naturally cleaning itself from the inside.

Quit smoking symptom #5: Cravings: When you quit smoking, you stop taking in a regular supply of nicotine. After only 3 days there is none left in your body. As such, because your brain is so used to nicotine it 'wonders' where it is and asks for more by giving you cravings to smoke. Your best course of action is to distract yourself for a while. The average craving only lasts a minute or two and they become fewer and farther between over time.

Quit smoking symptom #6: Dizziness: When you quit smoking, your body starts fixing the red blood cells that have been handicapped with carbon monoxide. After a couple of days, the 15% of a smoker's blood that was dysfunctional becomes proper working blood again. The dizziness is a side effect of the extra oxygen your blood is delivering to your brain!

Quit smoking symptom #7: Headaches: Your body has been used to nicotine within the system whilst you were a smoker. Now that the nicotine has subsided, your brain chemistry is trying to reset itself. Sometimes this manifests in headaches. To deal with this, your best bet is to avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee or cola and drink plenty of water. Take some painkillers when required.

Quit smoking symptom #8: Hunger: Craving for cigarettes can be confused with hunger. You have been used to having a cigarette (or something) in your mouth about once every hour for the last few years. That is now gone. Try sucking a straw, eating low-calorie raw vegetables or chewing gum. Don't turn to chocolate or potato chips - you will get fat!

Quit smoking symptom #9: Insomnia: Because the nicotine your brain was used to is no longer there, the brain isn't working the way it is used to. As a result, it may keep you in a bit of a nervous panic that stops you being able to sleep. Have a hot bath and a hot drink and see if you can't nod off like normal.

Quit smoking symptom #10: Sore throat: Your body has been used to secreting plenty of mucus in your airways whilst you were a smoker to deal with the irritation of the smoke. When you quit, it stops producing this mucus and leaves you with a dry throat that becomes sore. Drink plenty of water to try and alleviate the symptoms. If they get really bad, try an over-the-counter anaesthetic spray.

All of these quit smoking symptoms will conspire against you. They will irritate and annoy you when you try to quit smoking. But remember, they are just symptoms and they will all pass in time. As irritating and annoying as they all are, none of them are as tedious as an early death from cigarettes!

Whatever you do when you are trying to quit smoking, my advice is to never stop trying to quit.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Cold turkey quit smoking method

Many people have heard of the cold turkey quit smoking method but where does the phrase 'cold turkey' actually come from? Well, it is thought to be a description of the withdrawal effects that heroine addicts must endure when they stop using. One of these withdrawal symptoms is a cold sweat leading to goose pimples on a clammy skin. It's about the same a cold turkey before it goes in the oven at thanksgiving (without the butter of course!).

The origins of the phrase cold turkey also underline the extreme physical pain associated with heroine withdrawal. It is such a powerful drug (hence all the social problems it causes) that it leaves addicts with severe physical side effects when not taken. This extreme is erroneously transferred into the smokers' mind when using the cold turkey quit smoking method. Quitting smoking is nowhere near as painful!

Personally, I define the cold turkey quit smoking method as any method that does not employ the use of drugs or physical aids or 'crutches' to support the smoker. By this I mean the likes of nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges, spray etc.), chantix, zyban or any herbal treatment, fake cigarettes or aversion therapies.

I do consider things like cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to fall into the cold turkey quit smoking method because they do not condone the use of drugs to try and assist the smoker. They condone the power of the mind to overcome the problem of nicotine addiction.

In the case of acupuncture and laser therapy, there is little evidence that these methods work and they both require physical interference. Anecdotally of course, there are many ex-smokers that used these methods but studies have shown no improvement in quit rates when compared to cold 'turkeyers'.

Hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are both cold turkey quit smoking methods that are known to be effective. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a means of changing your thinking (cognition) and behaviour to a specific event, habit or aspect of life.

Unlike the classic cold turkey "lock-yourself-in-a-room-and-suffer" method of quitting smoking, hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy work by dealing with smokers' mental perceptions of smoking.

In the case of hypnotherapy as a cold turkey quit smoking method, the smoker may be 'taught' to respond to cravings for cigarettes by thinking about a pleasant time in their life to get over the craving. The smoker may also be 'taught' to dislike smoking. Many people successfully quit smoking using hypnosis but many fail too.

In the case of cognitive behavioural therapy, smokers are presented with a whole new view on smoking. It is a system by which the hugely complicated psychological trap of smoking, is broken down into bite-size pieces. Each piece of the trap is then dismantled, leaving smokers with little choice but to quit of their own free will.

Unlike the classic cold turkey quit smoking method, smokers who quit using cognitive behavioural therapy often report knowing that they have quit and that they will never smoke again. It is not the same with hypnotherapy or acupuncture or laser therapy.

I am of course a proponent of cognitive behavioural therapy. When I stopped smoking using this method, it was an epiphany. It was like my eyes had been opened after years in the darkness. The moment I stopped I knew I would never have another cigarette and it was a hugely liberating experience. However, it is not the same for everyone and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' method for quitting smoking.

Generally, my advice to all smokers is to try any and every method to find the one that works for them. There are many ways to get off cigarettes and the cold turkey quit smoking method is just one of them.

Spending money on money-back guaranteed systems first is the best approach because if that system doesn't work, you can get your cash back and move onto the next. If it does work, it will be money well spent. But my final and most important piece of advice to any would be quitter is to never give up trying to quit, no matter how soul destroying the process seems.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Quit smoking today

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Best way to quit smoking: Does such a thing exist?

A question that most smokers hoping to quit would like to know the answer to is "what is the best way to quit smoking?" - and with good reason. The average smoker who quits will take seven attempts over several years to achieve their goal of becoming smoke free. During that time, they will suffer many bouts of low self-esteem as they normally fail time and time again. It can be a soul destroying objective.

When I was a smoker I tried to quit smoking about three times a year. Once every New Year and then again at my birthday in May and again while on my summer vacation. I tried cold turkey more times than I care to remember and never got past 9pm the same day I quit.

I was convinced that Nicotine Replacement Therapy was the key. The mass advertising and the swathe of public opinion that surrounded NRT made me think it was going to be the best way to quit smoking. It all took me in.

I tried nicotine patches about ten times. I never managed more than a couple of days before I quit 'the quit'. I tried lozenges - disgusting. I tried the microtabs which left a 'lump' in my throat which was foul. I tried the inhalator which did the same as the microtabs. I tried silver acetate which is supposed to makes cigarettes taste horrible. It does but it also makes everything else taste horrible.

For me, Nicotine Replacement Therapy was not the best way to quit smoking. But, studies suggest that between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 people who would not have quit using just will-power alone, manage to quit with NRT.

I heard about Zyban (wellbutrin or bupropion) and though that was it. The 'cure-all' pill I had been longing for. The bad news was that when my doctor checked my blood pressure before prescribing it to me, my BP was through the roof. You see, smokers suffer from high blood pressure because they smoke so much. It is a catch-22. You want to use the smoking cessation aid but you can't because you have health problems from smoking. That's irony for you!

Studies have shown that Zyban can help about 1 in 10 people quit smoking over and above those that would have quit anyway but for me it didn't matter, it wasn't the best way for me to quit smoking.

Now we have Chantix (or Champix in the UK or varenicline) available and Pfizer, its manufacturer, are claiming up to 44% of smokers quit using it. The truth of the matter though is that these claims are highly exaggerated. It is thought to help 1 in 7 initial quit attempts succeed over and above the ones that would have succeeded anyway. However, the long term success rate is only about 15-20% which is a long way off the 44% claimed by Pfizer.

Quitting smoking for a short period of time is a good thing for your body, but smokers don't want breaks from smoking, they want to quit smoking for good. To this end, I don’t think that Chantix is the best way to quit smoking either.

What other methods are available? Well there is hypnosis, cognitive behavioural therapy, acupuncture, laser treatment, herbal remedies and the old favourite - will-power!

Hypnosis is a proven method for quitting smoking and can be used in many areas of ones life to change ones approach to things. Although statistical evidence is hard to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests that hypnosis can be a very good method for quitting smoking. To this end, I cannot say hypnosis is the best way to quit smoking.

Cognitive behavioural therapy means "think-behave" therapy. It is a process of changing the way you think about something to enable you to change the way you behave towards it. It is the method I use in my own book on quitting smoking.

People who quit using this method often report 'knowing' that they will never smoke another cigarette again. In terms of long-term success, if you quit using this method, you usually stay quit for good. But does that make cognitive behavioural therapy the best way to quit smoking? I'll answer that later.

As for herbal treatment, acupuncture and laser treatment, there is no evidence what so ever that these methods are effective. It is impossible for anyone to say whether any of these methods are the best way to quit smoking.

Finally, there is cold turkey. This is clearly one of the least effective methods for getting you to quit smoking, but if you do quit smoking using a method without the support of drugs such as NRT, Zyban on Chantix, the evidence suggests you will be a happier long-term non-smoker.

In answer to the initial question, I believe the best way to quit smoking is by overcoming your addiction to nicotine through the strength of your character and using the focus of your mind. Absolutely everyone has the will power within them to beat smoking but they don't believe in themselves and so they think they need 'chemical' support.

In broader terms, the best way to quit smoking is simply any method that works for you. Everyone is different and will find a different solution for them.

I know people who have simply walked away from cigarettes at a moments notice and never touched them again. I also know people who have succeeded with hypnotherapy and I know that only 4% of my own customers take me up on my guarantee. I know the statistical evidence for the other methods. The point is, the best way to quit smoking is by using the method that works for you and you can only know which method that is if you have tried it. So keep trying all the methods until you find the one that works.

As ever, never quit trying to quit smoking.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quit smoking cold turkey: Why it is better to use your mind

To quit smoking cold turkey, i.e. without the aid of pills or false cigarettes or herbal remedies, is often thought to be the most difficult ways to quit smoking. However, there is one specific reason why to quit smoking cold turkey is far and away the best type of method to use. The reason is simply long term success.

There are a vast number of options available to quit smoking on the internet and through health service providers. To name just a few, you can quit smoking using hypnosis, or nicotine replacement therapy or using zyban (wellbutrin or bupropion) or chantix (champix or varenicline).

These methods are all thought to improve your chances of quitting smoking in the first instance. Indeed there is a wealth of studies that show when you use these methods, your chances of quitting improve significantly. However, it is only when we look at the longer term that we find the initial success rates fall off and the long term success becomes poorer than the quit smoking cold turkey method.

The point is that initially, people who try to quit smoking using these pharmaceutical methods or even hypnosis, bio resonance or acupuncture may indeed be more successful than those who quit smoking cold turkey. In the long term though, these quitters have a lower success rate. It is much like the hare and the tortoise.

The tortoise is the quit smoking cold turkey type who has a very low success rate initially, but those who successfully quit using this method, rarely turn back. On the other hand, the hares rush off successfully stopping and then later, they struggle with their quit. But why is this?

Well, anecdotally, I know of people who have both succeeded and failed using hypnosis. I know few who have even tried to quit smoking using zyban or chantix. I also know (and was one) of many who have succeeded then failed with nicotine replacement therapy gum, patches, lozenges an inhalators.

With NRT and Zyban and Chantix, there is no ‘understanding’ of smoking. It is just 'magic'! Well, actually it is not magic but the people who try this method live in the vain hope that this medicine will solve all their smoking problems. It won’t because their heads are not 'straight'. Because they haven't addressed their emotional relationship with smoking and nicotine, they struggle in the long term to overcome their reliance upon tobacco. Hence they resort to smoking at a later time.

With respect to hypnosis, the most common approach is to use hypnosis to re-align your emotional response to cigarettes. This is done through the subconscious mind and again fails to address the emotional relationship between the smoker and their cigarettes.

When people attempt to quit smoking cold turkey, they have to deal with the emotional strain of quitting smoking. There are no supports or props to keep their mental fortitude in shape. These quitters have to take on the emotional roller coaster of the quit, head on.

By doing this, they become incredibly strong and durable to the challenge of quitting smoking. The challenge of beating their addiction to nicotine strengthens their resolve. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I cannot say how each individual quitter quits successfully when they quit smoking cold turkey. Everyone is different and so whether it is coping with cravings, realising they don't enjoy smoking or just turning their backs on cigarettes, it is different for each and everyone.

What I can say though is that most people who quit smoking cold turkey are happier than those who resort to other methods to help them. I can also tell you that most smokers who quit smoking cold turkey will have found one or two or up to 30 key things that they understand about smoking that they did not understand when they were a smoker. It is these 'secrets' that make quitting smoking for them possible. In some respects it makes them easy.

When I quit smoking, I did so full in the knowledge that I would never smoke again because I too had discovered the secrets. I knew how to quit smoking so it was a straightforward process.

So my advice to you is that if you must, quit smoking using any and every chemical aid you can. Try them all. If they work, you will be a non-smoker and that is something to celebrate. But beware; statistically, you are more likely to fall back into the trap of smoking. However, if you want to quit smoking and be at one with yourself, without the stress, consider the cold turkey methods available to you that require no chemicals or nicotine at all. But most of all, what ever you do, never stop trying to quit.

Why do people try to quit smoking before they know how to quit smoking? Pete Howells is the author of the EasyQuit System available only online at . He also blogs and post articles and videos at and at

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chantix Side Effects

Chantix is the US trading name for the drug varenicline, developed by Pfizer and released for general use in 2006. It has received some exceptional media attention due to its (claimed) success rates. Pfizer's own website claims a 44% success rate which makes for a very interesting and potentially profitable drug. The more commonly accepted 'success rate' is only 22% however.

As with Zyban, the other well-known aid for smoking cessation, there are a number of side effects to be taken into consideration with Chantix.

Chantix side effects are known to include most seriously, severe nausea with up to 30% of people trying to quit smoking using Chantix, having to stop the treatment due to this side effect being so strong. Disturbances of the gut such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, excessive indigestion and excessive flatulence have all been mentioned as well as vomiting.

Other Chantix side effects are known to include headaches, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), abnormal dreams including nightmares, sleepiness and dizziness.

People have reported other Chantix side effects including a change in their sense of taste (no - not fashion or the opposite sex!), a dry mouth and changes in appetite both for food and for sex! They have also reported increased incidences of airway infections, mood swings, tremor and restlessness.

Some people also notice an increased need for the bathroom, chest pains, palpitations, and skin reactions such as rashes or itchiness.

Having listed all of these potential side effects however, it is important to note that not all side effects happen in every person. Admittedly, many people suffer too much from the nausea to continue with the treatment but many of the other side effects are quite mild and potentially a small price to pay for quitting smoking.

It is also important to note that many of these Chantix side effects show up when people quit smoking anyway and they are commonly attributed to nicotine withdrawal. Of note, dry mouth, increased airway infections, mood swings and anxiety, tremor and chest pains are all attributed to nicotine withdrawal too.

It is also important to mention, despite its short-term claim for 44% success rates, Chantix's longer-term success rates are similar to that of Zyban. Zyban is made more effective by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and Chantix is more effective if subjects take NRT after finishing the 12-week course. You can read my views on nicotine replacement therapy at

Both Zyban and Chantix are used in combination with support counselling for smokers as well as NRT. The drugs themselves cannot stand up on their own and certainly do not come with money back guarantees and that is on top of the Chantix side effects listed here.

Notwithstanding all this, if you want to quit smoking, no matter how many times you don't achieve it, just keep on trying. Never stop trying to quit!

Why do people try to quit smoking before they know how to quit smoking? Pete Howells is the author of the EasyQuit System available only online at . He also blogs and post articles and videos at and at

Quit smoking pills

There is a whole raft of quit smoking pills available on the market these days. Most of them are advertised as being a 'cure-all' for your woes as a smoker and will alleviate all of your concerns about quitting smoking. They come in two main forms - pharmaceutical types made by the big drug companies or 'snake oil' types made from 'magic' ingredients. However, I have my doubts about the need for pills at all.

Unfortunately, smokers are a pretty desperate bunch when it comes to trying to quit and anyone offering quit smoking pills has got a fair chance of making a sale. Having said that, one of my own edicts for people trying to quit smoking is to just keep trying and try as many methods as you can until you succeed.

Why do I advocate such a stance you may ask? Well, whether it be through sheer willpower, quit smoking pills, hypnosis, acupuncture, laser treatment or my own cognitive behavioural therapy approach, the benefits of quitting smoking are just so extensive, I implore all smokers to keep trying to quit.

I know most smokers are reluctant to spend money on products to help them quit, but from a logical point of view, it makes a lot of sense. Spending money on products may seem tedious but even if it costs $1000 to find 'the cure' that works for you, it is still less than half of a years smoking costs. And you get all the benefits of quitting smoking which are worth years of extra life!

However, whilst I think smokers should persist in finding 'a cure' that works, I am somewhat reluctant to recommend using medication and 'herbal' remedies. Why is this?

Well, smoking is an addiction to nicotine and smokers only smoke cigarettes to get at the nicotine. Despite cigarette smoke being so toxic, smokers are 'conditioned' to enjoy smoking because of the nicotine buzz that comes with it. The cigarette is not pleasurable at all, but the nicotine is because of the way it has established itself as a part of a smoker's brain chemistry.

Quit smoking pills are generally thought to interfere with the brain chemistry in smokers heads. Brain chemistry in smokers is different from that in non-smokers and that is why smokers smoke. Their brain chemistry is different, and it was made different by smoking! It is a chicken and egg, egg and chicken kind of thing!

The pharmaceutical quit smoking pills most commonly known to aid in quitting smoking are Zyban and Chantix. Zyban is also traded as wellbutrin or bupropion and Chantix is also marketed as Champix and varenicline.

Whilst the exact processes that go on to discourage smoking with these products are not known, there is obviously some activity because both Zyban and Chantix are known to improve a smoker's ability to quit smoking. The downside is that they also have side effects, as is common with many pharmaceutical drugs. Zyban and Chantix should only be considered after consultation with your doctor.

The effectiveness of both of these drugs has been studied extensively although as drug companies fund drug studies, there is a pre-disposition to find in favour of the effectiveness. Despite the pharmacological effects these drugs have, they are always prescribed alongside some form of counselling or advice. If they were capable of achieving great results without the support, I would believe in them - but they do not work without counselling help.

Alternative quit smoking pills are marketed on the internet and elsewhere. These generally make lurid claims about their effectiveness at quitting smoking. They are often described as herbal remedies and may contain 'proprietary' substances. This in my opinion, is all snake oil!

Again, like the pharmaceutical quit smoking pills available, snake oil solutions are sold with quit smoking guides to change the way you think about your relationship with cigarettes. This is the crux of quitting smoking though. People think they need a pill or a magic potion to achieve their goal but they don't. I believe people just need to focus their minds on the problem at hand and they can overcome it.

If you start out trying to quit smoking thinking that you need the support of a drug, you already think that quitting smoking requires 'outside help'. It doesn't. If you stop thinking it is going to be difficult to quit smoking, do you realise it just might be a bit easier to quit?

Finally, whichever method you use to quit smoking, my most important piece of advice is that if a 'solution' fails, try something else. There are over 50 ways of quitting smoking and quit smoking pills is just one of them. Never stop trying to quit.

Why do people try to quit smoking before they know how to quit smoking? Pete Howells is the author of the EasyQuit System available only online at . He also blogs and post articles and videos at and at

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stop Smoking Medications

In this day and age, we all want a cure-all pill that will solve all of our woes. We want a stop smoking pill, a diet pill, a little blue sex pill, a heartburn pill an anti-stress pill and an anti-depression pill. Heck if you could make one pill that did all that, you would make Bill Gates look like a pauper! But what stop smoking medications are there available to us?

For the purposes of this article, I am only going to look at the stop smoking medications that have some merit about them and have actually been tested. The herbal, shaman, snake oil remedies and secret formulas are not getting a mention!

The first of the stop smoking medications I want to mention is the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) approach to quitting smoking. This comes in main forms of 24-hour patch, 16-hour patch, chewing gum, lozenge, microtab, inhalator (a plastic nicotine only 'cigarette'), or nasal spray. The idea is to use this source of nicotine as a replacement to keep your cravings for tobacco under control. The process does not wean smokers from nicotine (which in my opinion, is the only reason why people smoke).

Of the stop smoking medications I am reviewing, this has the least side effects and normally only leaves an unpleasant taste or sensation with the smoker. The nicotine is absorbed through the mucosal linings of the mouth and nose and can cause irritation because these parts of the body are not used to nicotine.

NRT is said to double the rate of success in quitting smoking when compared to people quitting using will power or going cold turkey. That success rate is between 3% and 5% so NRT has a long term success rate of around 6-10%. Not great odds! Of the stop smoking medications I am looking at here, this is by far the weakest medication.

The second of the stop smoking medications I want to mention is zyban, which is often known as wellbutrin or bupropion hydrochloride. Zyban was initially developed as an anti-depressant (which it is still used as) but during clinical trials, researchers found that smokers stopped without any intervention at a statistically improbable rate. In other words, one of the side effects of taking zyban was an increased likelihood of quitting smoking.

Zyban is an incredibly popular drug with over 21 million prescriptions in the US in 2006. The beneficial side effect of zyban helping people quit smoking is countered by the many negative side effects. In larger doses, zyban can cause seizures and there is little tolerance for alcohol too.

Because zyban interacts with a subjects brain chemistry, there is a need for doctors to assess a patients mental health very carefully before prescribing. There are also implications when prescribed with high blood pressure (prevalent in smokers!) and people with heart problems (again, prevalent in smokers!). Zyban was initially seen as the potential 'cure-all' pill but in truth, this is not the case.

Studies have shown zyban is about 15% effect when used in combination with NRT and stop smoking support groups.

Of the three stop smoking medications I am looking at, Chantix is the final and most promising of the three. Chantix is the trade name for varenicline which is also traded as Champix in the UK. But just because is is a promising stop smoking medication, it does not mean it is 'the cure-all'.

Again, like zyban, chantix interferes with the brain chemistry of a smoker, although the exact mechanism as to how this happens is not known. It is thought the chantix blocks off the receptors in the brain where nicotine normally attaches. As a result, the normal smoke and reward cycle associated with smoking doesn't work because the nicotine doesn't get a chance to do what it normally does. As a result, the smoker finds that smoking does not have the benefits it once did so they are inclined to stop.

Pfizer, the manufacturer claims a 44% success rate but other studies have shown a much lower success rate in the order of 20%.

Of all the stop smoking medications out there, chantix is probably the most effective but all of these approaches lack one common requirement. When you quit smoking, no matter which of the stop smoking medications you use, if any, you need to get your mental attitude to smoking and tobacco sorted out. It is possible to stop smoking without any of the stop smoking medications available, as many millions of people do every year - why not try and be one of them.

As ever, if you want to stop smoking, never stop trying. Failing to achieve something only really happens when you stop trying to achieve it.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How can I quit smoking? (again)

The question, "how can I quit smoking?" is not really the full, true question that most smokers want answering. The real gist of the question I believe that most smokers want to know the answer to is "how can I quit smoking easily?" or "how can I quit smoking without any effort?" or "how can I quit smoking when I haven't the willpower to?"

The answer to these questions is a valuable piece of information because quitting smoking is generally seen as a very difficult thing to do. When I finally managed to quit smoking back in early 2006, I actually found it very easy. What was the reason for this? Well, I knew how to quit smoking when I made my last attempt.

Unlike 95% of smokers, when I quit smoking, I had actually learned how to quit smoking before I bothered doing it. By learning what had to be done in advance, I found the process of quitting very easy.

Most smokers, when they chose to quit, do so without the full knowledge of what they are trying to do. They start by 'giving up' cigarettes and hoping to 'beat the cravings'. They enter into the process knowing that they are going to have a battle on their hands.

To put it another way, any normal person will refer to the owner's manual of a car, before attempting to change a wheel or even a light bulb on the vehicle. Once they have read the manual regarding changing the light bulb or the wheel, they will never read it again, because they know now how to do it. What's more, when they do it for the first time, they know what to do and what to expect throughout the process.

The difference of course between changing a bulb and quitting smoking is that hopefully, you should only quit smoking once! But why is it that most people try to quit smoking several times?

Studies have shown that smoker on average take about 7 attempts, normally over several years to quit smoking. Whoa! That's outrageous! Could you imagine how many cars would be abandoned on the road if we didn't bother reading our owner's manuals?

The reason of course why smokers take so many attempts to quit smoking is that they don't know what they are doing! Each attempt is like another fumble round the back of the gym on prom night. But making light of this is unfair. When I quit, I knew what I was doing - I was like an unstoppable sex machine (if only -haha)! This made quitting so easy, it isn't even worth making mention of.

Many smokers who use their 'brute willpower' to quit smoking rightly feel that they have achieved a great success over a crafty and devious foe. And they are right. Using willpower as motivation to quit smoking is bloody difficult! I know, I tried about 15 times to quit using willpower and got nowhere! I tried using nicotine replacement too, patches, gum, lozenges and inhalators, all to no avail.

Quitting smoking using willpower as your main weapon against nicotine addiction is a very difficult thing to do. Becoming a 'gazillionaire' by selling ice to Eskimos is easier than quitting smoking with willpower (I think).

Quitting smoking armed with the full knowledge of why you smoke and what effects smoking has on you (no not the health effects!) is a walk in the park. That is why, when I quit smoking I didn't look upon it as a major achievement in my life. It was so simple, brushing my teeth properly (and I am 35!) is still more difficult than quitting smoking when you know how.

As ever, if you are trying to quit smoking, my most important message to you is to keep trying no matter how many times you fail. Never quit trying to quit.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How can I quit smoking?

"How can I quit smoking?" is one of the most important questions for any smoker. In the back of every smokers mind, most days is a question about how they can go without their lovely, tasty smokes! Anyone who actually knows the answer to this question and can add, without any effort to it, will be rich beyond belief.

In our modern lifestyles, we all want a magic pill that will stop us smoking, improve our bedroom performance and keep us a slim as a racing snake for our entire lives. We want this and we don't want to have to do anything about it either.

But there is the rub.

There is always a little bit or a lot of effort involved in achieving anything of significance. So in answer to the question "how can I quit smoking?" the first response I would give is you will have to use some effort.

Making an effort to quit smoking is different from it being hard to stop smoking. Personally, I do not believe it is hard to stop smoking. The reason I have this outlandish opinion is because I also don't think brain surgery is difficult - for brain surgeons!

Let me expand a little. I think that quitting smoking is easy because a) I learned how to do it and b) I did it and c) so now I know how easy it was.

Brain surgery is a skill that must be learned. Unless you are actually a brain surgeon, brain surgery may seem like a very difficult thing to do. It isn't so long as a) you have studied and learned how to do it b) you have understood and practiced it and c) you successfully complete brain surgery.

OK, that may seem a bit brash so lets put it another way. Rather than saying "How can I quit smoking?", lets say "How can I do brick laying?"

To become a brick layer, you must learn about the relevant materials - your bricks, blocks and stone and then learn about the relevant mortar that you need to use depending on the building blocks. You then need to learn how to put the mortar in the right place and lay the bricks etc. etc.

The point is, you may not be able to do brick laying but given a little time, studying and effort, you could probably learn how to build a straight and vertical wall. The point is you must learn.

My view on how to quit smoking is that it is all about education. There is a desire in our hectic lifestyle to just take some magic pill to cure all of our problems, but to be honest, one doesn't exist. Sure Zyban boasts some effectiveness as does Chantix but they are far from 100% effective.

Smokers still want to smoke, irrespective of the pills you give them. Only by changing ones mindset to smoking is it possible to stop smoking with ease.

So in answer to the question, "How can I quit smoking?" My answer is to take some time and effort to learn how to quit smoking. You already know why you need to quit smoking, now it is time to actually learn how to quit smoking.

As ever, however many times you have tried and however many methods you have used, never stop trying to quit smoking.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.

How many quit smoking ways are there?

In my years as a smoker, researching how to quit smoking whilst developing my EasyQuit System, I can truly say there must be over 60 methods of quitting smoking available. Some are effective, others less so and to be quite frank with you, some are utterly ludicrous. But, just because some methods do not work for some people, does not mean they cannot be effective for many others.

So how many quit smoking methods are there? Well, I think it is important to address the most well known methods first.

The commonest method of the many quit smoking ways there are is good old fashioned cold turkey. This is most often done by setting a date to quit, preparing oneself for that day and then using your brute willpower to overcome your desire to smoke before probably capitulating after about a day. Of the many quit smoking ways there are, studies suggest cold turkey has about a 1 in 20 chance of success.

The second best known method of the many quit smoking ways there are is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Personally, I hate this method of quitting smoking because it uses nicotine to try and help smokers off nicotine. I think that is utterly stupid! It is insane! If you want to read more about my hatred of NRT, read my article at

However, as much as I disagree with the NRT approach to quitting smoking, it does boast a higher success rate than cold turkey with about 1 in 10 people quitting smoking for more than 1 year – but not quitting nicotine! Many people who use this method end up beholden to the drug companies instead of the tobacco companies and they are not free from nicotine addiction.

Another of the many quit smoking ways there are is to use drug such as Zyban (wellbutrin or bupropion) or Chantix (varenicline or champix in the UK). These methods can be combined with NRT but in effect, they interfere with the psychoactive effects of nicotine in the brain. Unfortunately, even the big brain boxes that design these drugs aren't clever enough to know exactly how they work which could be a worry.

Using these drugs can also have side effects ranging from mild to severe. Chantix can cause severe nausea to the point where patients must stop taking the drug and about 1 in 1000 Zyban users end up having seizures.

Hypnosis is another well known if little understood option amongst the many quit smoking ways available to smokers. Whilst there are many sceptics about this process, anecdotal evidence suggests it can be very effective. Furthermore, smokers can either use a hypnotist locally or just buy hypnosis audio courses over the internet. In terms of accessibility and effectiveness, this makes hypnosis a serious consideration for any would-be quitter.

A less well-known method for quitting smoking is the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Hypnosis, where your brain is effectively 're-programmed' to stop you smoking by making alternative emotional associations with your behaviour is the very opposite of CBT.

Instead of masking emotions, using CBT, a smoker takles them head on. Typically, CBT exposes smokers to a series of truths about smoking that are not commonly accepted in society. An example would be that smoking is not a habit; it is an addiction to nicotine – to call it a habit is wrong.

By using CBT to reveal many of the misconceptions of smoking, smokers find that they can have an 'epiphany' moment. This epiphany can reveal to them what smoking is actually all about and it makes it incredibly easy to quit.

The one draw back of the system is that only the smoker can have the epiphany! There is no way that it can be forced upon a smoker so having an open mind is crucial to achieving success with CBT. However, despite this concern, CBT has been seen to be incredibly effective with anecdotal evidence of up to 96% success rates.

Either way, which ever of the many quit smoking ways you may chose, whether it be CBT, NRT, Zyban or hypnosis, the most important approach is to keep trying to quit smoking. Never quit trying to quit!

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.